With the coming of the mobile revolution being heralded for years, it seems we’re finally here (even though it came in with a whimper, more than a bang). With that said, it’s now critical that every marketer that wants to stay competitive be not only findable, but viewable on mobile devices. Mobile devices make up a greater portion of all searches each and every year, and we’re finally starting to see some viable means in terms of mobile purchasing to warrant the push to either responsive websites, native apps or both.
But what’s the difference?
What is a Responsive Website?
A responsive website (or more accurately, responsive web design) simply means that the site is coded and designed in such a way that the content will adjust to fit on whatever size screen it is being viewed on. So if you’re looking at a site on your 27-inch desktop monitor, it will look great, but if you visit the site on your 3-inch mobile device, it will also display correctly.
Responsive websites eliminate the need to have a dedicated site built for mobile (in addition to your standard website). The coding in the site responds to the device it is being viewed from and tells the browser exactly how the content should be displayed so there are no errors and functionality is preserved. If your audience connects to your site via a number of devices (e.g. computer desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, mobile phone, etc.), a responsive website is a critical investment.
Benefits of responsive web design include:
– Your site is indexed as mobile-friendly by search engines, while still maintaining all of its normal indexing
– All of your updates to your website can be done in one place and show up on any viewing device
– Your site becomes flexible, able to reach all viewers no matter the device they are using
– All of your updates are seen by anyone who views the page and are not limited or restricted by device
What is a Mobile App – or Native Mobile App?
Mobile app and native mobile app are two terms used interchangeably for the same thing. A mobile app is an application designed specifically for use on mobile devices. It is an entirely separate program from your website and instead of being stored on servers, it is downloaded by the user and stored on their smartphone.
What this does is it allows users to connect even when they don’t have internet access. This is due to the fact that the app is stored locally (though some mobile apps will require internet). That means native mobile apps grant faster access for users than mobile (or responsive) websites do.
In addition, mobile apps have permissions that can help your sales such as access to the phone’s camera or speaker. This makes it easier for customers to interact with you. The downside here is that native mobile apps require different operating systems for Android and iOS phones, so it does cost some money to develop them…twice.
There are also a few more downsides and upsides to mobile apps:
– While faster than websites on mobile devices, mobile apps have fixed layouts meaning you must design one for each operating system
– Your audience for mobile apps is limited to people who have smartphones
– Search engines don’t index mobile apps because they aren’t stored on the internet, but rather on the user’s phone
– Updates can be tricky because the user must download them for updates to appear. Not everyone does this, so your newer content might not gain as much traction
– It is both expensive and time-consuming to develop native mobile apps and then get them approved by the app stores (Google Play and the Apple App Store)
Ideally, you would have both, but for now, a responsive website seems like the safer plan for internet marketers until your business demands a mobile app.
Did you know that only about 20% of all first-time visitors to a website will become a conversion on that visit? That means 80% of your site’s visitors are leaving without converting, even if they want to. With shopping cart abandonment making major waves in the eCommerce industry because of how recoverable these consumers are (studies show that about 68% of all abandoned shopping carts can be recovered), it only makes sense that the people who bounce off your site are recoverable as well, even if you don’t run an eCommerce site.
What is Retargeting?
Then, as your visitor browses other sites on the internet, as they come to sites that have ads on them, the cookie you left in their browser activates your site’s ad. This helps do a number of things, including keeping you fresh in their minds, reminding them that they might have wanted to make a purchase with you or simply creates another avenue to your website.
The point here is that you are getting advertised across the web to an extremely targeted audience: people that have already expressed interest in your website. Whether they left to look for better offers, they left the stove on or had to run into a business meeting, you get another crack at them by simply adding some code to your website and running a few ads.
But Won’t People Find this Intrusive?
Of course, some places people absolutely hate targeted ads, such as ads that hit on keywords from people’s emails. This is intrusive and likely to backfire unless you’re a fairly large brand. Nobody wants to think that a penis enlargement cream site is filtering through their emails and placing ads on their Gmail account!
But with retargeting, your ads will actually provide people with a better, more individualized browsing experience since the ads will be tailored to their interests. It’s always important to think about how your ads will be perceived by your audience. There’s a fine line between being intrusive and being customized and the best websites walk this line perfectly.
Of course, not every internet marketer’s site lends itself to retargeting code and ads. Some marketers will do better to retarget their visitors through email campaigns. It’s important that you re-contact people who fell out of your sales funnel so you can bring them back in.
As with the shopping cart abandonment, there’s no telling why the person fell out. They could have simply been distracted by a football score and forgot to go back. The power could have went out, any number of things could have happened so assuming that everyone who bounced from your site did so because they didn’t like what they saw is faulty thinking that leads to zero sales.
What do you have to lose by sending out some emails saying, “Hey, we’ve been thinking about you and we want you to come back! Here’s 10% off your next order” or “Did you forget about us because we didn’t forget about you! We figured you might have some questions so let’s set up a time to chat so I can answer them for you!”
The point is, you miss all of the sales that you don’t reach out and grasp, so retargeting visitors can only result in sales, what’s the worse that can happen, they ignore you? Well, right now if you aren’t retargeting, you’re the one ignoring them!
The standard call to action has become far too recognizable for the Internet savvy masses who know a hard sell when they see one. They know when they click “Sing Up Here” that they are likely going to receive spam. They know that when they click “Buy Now” they are going to have to spend money. And while these will still work for products and services that customers are actively looking to purchase or sign up for, it becomes a harder sell to pull off when you’re marketing niceties rather than necessities.
Writing a More Actionable Call to Actionable
When you have a product or service that you’re marketing which can best be described as “nice to have but not something I can buy on a budget,” you have to really think smarter about your pitch. This all culminates in the call to action, a place where you should be removing the final friction in the prospect’s mind, getting them to click on that button.
To illustrate the best way to accomplish this, let’s look at three great strategies:
1. Illustrate Product or Service is Risk Free. If you are offering a service or product that is risk-free to try, show this through your call to action. A great example of this is Crazy Egg who uses the very successful CTA, “Show Me My Heatmap.” The prospect knows that they can get a sample of the service at no cost with no pressure to buy unless they like what they see. This works best with products or services that provide an ongoing report. Seeing your heat map for your website is going to help you, yes, that’s the point. But imagine seeing it constantly and with increased tracking statistics and analytics. That’s the selling point after the CTA.
2. Demonstrate Customization. Another way to really capture a lead with your CTA is to let them have some fun within the system before asking for the sale. For example, Manpacks is a website that allows users to bundle up their own “manpacks” consisting of manly things like razors, condoms, shirts, etc. Their CTA is very simple and very effective: Build Your Manpack. It speaks the language of men, mainly to “building” and the idea of customizing your own “manpack” before you have to part with your money at the POS further engages the prospect.
3. Give Actual Action. Finally, a great way to really get your CTAs more clicks is to actually put the action right into the wording. Perhaps the most widely-known use for this is with the eCard industry. Instead of saying, “Sign Up for an Account” or some other common CTA, the biggest eCard suppliers use some variation of “Send an eCard Now.” The CTA doesn’t bring up the costs or any mailing lists, it simply says to send the card now. This works well with any type of service where you can send a gift to someone, but is translatable across the boards. What is the final action that will take place? “Get Your…Now.”
Language and Results
As you can see, the CTA is more about how you word things and less about what the client is actually doing, at least, that’s how the client should perceive things. There should be a tie in with emotions through the language wherever possible. The “Manpacks” CTA does an amazing job with this, build something and feel more manly!
Unfortunately, not enough marketers spend enough time on their CTAs, instead just slapping up the standard “Click Here” bit.
A good marketing campaign is much like a luxury car, it’s going to get you to where you’re going without too many hiccups, but you’re still going to want to have it serviced along the way to make sure it’s in optimal running condition. The smallest problem in a marketing campaign (or car) can snowball into an out of control event that results in a PR nightmare.
Think about how many companies have seen sales plummet or flat out drop off after a social media blunder. In order to prevent things like this from happening, or at least lower your risk to exposure, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions about your marketing efforts each month, just to gauge where you’re at, how it’s going and most of all, if you can tweak some things to affect greater return.
How Consistent are My Results?
An undeniable sign of an excellent marketing strategy is consistency in results. When you post a blog, you can expect that it will go viral. When you run a PPC campaign, you know that it will raise your sales by X amount of dollars. Predictions that are reliable make for a smooth and efficient business model because no matter what bumps come along down the road, you know how to fix them and turn them around in your favor.
Take a look at your results and see if you’re getting the consistency you desire. Are some of your blogs outperforming others in terms of CTRs? Are some emails getting more opens and clicks than others? Are social media platforms outperforming your website?
Look at factors of influence in each case and adjust your marketing strategy going forward. For example, if you blogs that you post in the middle of the week garner more CTA follow-throughs, post more in the middle of the week. Then, see how that affects your consistency. If you are triggering a certain type of emotion or time frame for urgency in your emails that are getting more opens, try to use hone in on that emotion or urgency some more. The point is, find what is consistently good for you and then make that the norm, not the exception.
What is My Competition Doing?
Another great avenue to explore each month is keeping an eye on your competitors. Look at the content they are creating, the channels they are promoting on. Are their efforts paying off? Go so far as to get up to the point of purchase on their site. How does their sales and marketing funnel feel compared to yours? Do they follow up and try to get your sale?
It’s always a good thing to keep feelers out there so you know what you are doing that is the same, and what you are doing that is different. Differentiation is an important part of branding and marketing, but if you aren’t providing the basics that all of your competition is providing, you’re differentiating yourself in a poor manner. You’re showing that you don’t have a solid foundation built.
Never be afraid to copy a technique that is working, as the saying goes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The thing to remember is that a great marketer won’t just copy the technique cut and dry, they will tweak it to make it their own. For example, Pepsi Cola realized that it was never going to cut into Coca-Cola’s long-standing trust built over years with the older generation, but they knew that generational marketing was the way to go. Rather than going after the customers that were loyal to Coca-Cola, Pepsi decided to go after the younger generation, the untapped market.
Welcome to part two of this series on reducing churn rate. Let’s jump right into a few methods for keeping customer retention high and making sure no one is jumping ship!
Savvy businessmen and women know that keeping an eye on the competition is key, and nowhere is this more important than in customer acquisition and churn rate assessments. Take time out of every day, week, or month – depending on the cycle time and speed of your market – to research what your competitors have been up to. Are they doing something that you aren’t? If so, is it something that you, as a customer, would want and benefit from? Be honest here. If the answer is “yes,” think about how you could not only implement something similar, but how you could improve on it.
This is simply part of the process of continuously adding value to a business, and keeping an eye on competition helps you to gauge the rate at which you should be doing so. Rather than trying to slowly dole out new goodies to your customers, challenge yourself to give away new value as it comes about in real time. This also means that you won’t be able to rest on your laurels, and will have to constantly innovate in order to have bigger and better offers for your customers. Seem like tough work? It is – and it’s also how industry leaders get to the top.
Get Personal, Don’t Automate
Automation is one of the trickiest things to master when your business begins to grow. You want to be able to manage everything at once, but losing the personal touch you may have begun with can be detrimental to your relationship with leads and customers.
As a rule of thumb, it’s ok to automate, but don’t fake it. This means that things like post-purchase emails, etc. can be automated, and are expected to be. By the same token, don’t fake communications so that they are automated but are actually canned, pre-written, and going out to 5,000 people.
For example, let’s say you write an email for your list to announce a new offer. Don’t use silly name tagging to fake personalization. People see straight through that, and it is (rightfully) perceived as phony. People understand that they are part of a mailing list, so don’t try to convince them otherwise.
If they write to you, however, respond personally. If that becomes logistically impossible, then make it clear that a support team is the one helping to field questions and concerns. Also, keep in mind that “impossible” should mean something different to you as an entrepreneur. You should be a time management ninja, and also realize that your work day might be 10 12, or 16 hours, not eight.
Ride the Wave, Don’t Chase It
Even more important than watching the competition is to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and the context within which it exists. Recently, Facebook noticed (and has helped champion) the bringing of rudimentary mobile internet to new countries that have never had such services. The company launched a stripped-down, Facebook Lite app to better accommodate these low-bandwidth markets. As soon as new mobile plans hit these countries, Facebook will be one of the first apps available.
Be the Facebook of your industry. Sound like big shoes to fill? They are! But the point is that you should be looking to ride along with new trends as they crest, and leave everyone else to chase after you. That is, of course, the mark of an industry leader after all, isn’t it?